"Power, Haunting, and Resilience” - an art exhibition marking the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial law in Taiwan - will take place from Sept. 19 through Dec. 17 at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University.
Fourteen artists from Taiwan will expose the lingering, often haunting effects of authoritarianism, social ideology, environmental disaster, international politics, and personal circumstances.
Deploying artistic production to confront forces beyond an individual's control, works by Yang Ying-Feng, Lee Tsai-Chien, Ju Ming, Hung Su-Chen, Mei Dean-E, Wu Tien-Chang, Ku Shih-Yung, Hung Tien-Yu, Shi Jin-Hua, Chen Cheng-Tsai, Shen Chao-Liang, Peng Hung-Chih, Chi Chien, and Huang Hai-Sin will provoke varying responses, from protest and resistance to resilience and hope.
Thirty-eight years of martial law (1949-87) denied the people of Taiwan the rights of free assembly, free speech, and free press. During this time artists worked under intense political scrutiny, and after martial law was lifted found themselves navigating culturally fraught debates about national identity, all of which profoundly impacted art practice.
The works in this exhibition, produced from the 1970s to the present, will serve as reminders that coming to terms with the traumatic memories of authoritarian power, participating in the political discourse of an emerging democratic society, and struggling to defend human rights and responding to global climate change are part of shared human experience.
This exhibition, jointly organized by the Johnson Museum of Art and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, was cocurated by An-yi Pan, associate professor in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell, and Liu Yung-Jen, curator at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, with the assistance of Ellen Avril, chief curator and curator of Asian art at the Johnson. Major support for the exhibition and catalogue was provided by the Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan).